Either or …
It’s a turn of phrase passed down from generation to generation of sales people. And it brings to mind negative stereotypes like white shoes, plaid pants, and heaven forefend, pinky rings. But if you look at it intelligently, and apply the psychology of persuasion, it can be transformed into a powerful tool.
That phrase: the either or close.
How does it work? “Corey, I’ve got time to see you either this afternoon at 2:00 or tomorrow morning at 10:00. Which of those times work for you?”
The thinking here is that you have cleverly crafted your language in such a way that the customer will have to pick one of the options, and voilà, you have advanced in the sales progression. The problem is that isn’t really what happens.
This actually makes the customer want to resist. Their first instinct is to say, “No.” Why? Some psychologists call this reactance. They resent the fact that you are forcing their hand. They want to resist your ham-handed attempts to do so.
The problem is that they may pick one of your options, but they will resent you for it. All humans have an innate fear of loss. We are driven much more powerfully by what we have to lose than what we have to gain.
So how can you change this so it isn’t a knuckle-headed, charlatan-like approach?
“Corey, I’ve got time to see you either this afternoon at 2:00 or tomorrow morning at 10:00. Do either of those times work for you?”
In essence, I change one word. I swap which for do and it completely changes the complexion of this approach. It’s assertive and not aggressive. It’s subtle and sophisticated and it in no way creates the pushback of the prior example.
What if neither of those times are convenient for the customer?
I simply find another time that works.
Your use of language is one of the key roads to sales success. The words you use and the phrases that you choose have a huge bearing on what your target thinks, says, and does.
Do this and you’ll hear yes faster, and more frequently than you ever thought possible.
Pragmatic Persuasion … because the greatest adventures begin with yes.
Talk soon, Mark